Friday, October 4, 2013
Welcome back to The Science Fiction Romance Brigade Presents! This weekly event is when members of The SFR Brigade get together and post snippets from their books or WIPs.
What I am presenting this week is a snippet from my WIP that I've been calling the 'Fracture Series.' My short story, 'The Stranger,' that is published in "Tales From the SFR Brigade" is set in the far future of the snippets I have posted so far. If you're interested in those snippets, you can read them in the following blog posts: The SFR Brigade Presents (1) , The SFR Brigade Presents (3) , SFRBP (4) .
In this snippet, Miaxa has been separated from her team and is flying the 'Illusion.' She is trying to land so that the team can climb on board and escape the Skellyds that are closing in on their position. Leeda, the leader of that team and Miaxa's best friend, forces her to make a difficult choice. This particular entry is from Leeda's point of view.
"Leeda, I can't get to you." Miaxa sounded frustrated and desperate through the link.
Leeda and her fellow Gathons watched from their position on the ground as their ship dodged the airborne Skellyds. Miaxa flew over them, but it was clear that she was never going to be able to land.
Leeda glanced at Tinton, who nodded, already knowing the only choice they were faced with at that moment. The 'Illusion' was his ship and Leeda always remembered that.
"Fly into it," Leeda transmitted to Miaxa.
"What?" Miaxa exclaimed in shock.
"Fly into the portal," Leeda transmitted clearly.
Leeda and her companions watched helplessly as Miaxa flew Tinton's ship over the portal but not into it.
"Fly into it now before they close it," Leeda bit out.
"No," Miaxa yelled. "I'm not leaving you."
"Do it! That's an order."
The first two Skellyds were closing in on the ship from the starboard and port sides. The Skell that didn't seem to run out of missiles was closing in on its aft and a newcomer was flying straight at it from the front. Leeda could see that Miaxa had a clear shot through the portal if she banked hard to the left while pitching the ship into another nose dive. If she would just do it. She had to know that was her only option; either fly through the portal or get blown out of the sky.
"I will find you," Miaxa whispered as she finally dove into the portal, her quiet promise echoing through the link as she disappeared.
For more of this week's snippets, go to the SFR Brigade blog. Or, click on the links of the other participants below:
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Tales From the SFR Brigade
The Stranger by Kyndra Hatch
I am happy to announce my debut publication! It is a very late announcement since the publication came out in late June, but I was moving right as the book came out and things have only just now slowed down enough for me to blog about the good news.
So much has happened since January that I don't know where to start, so I'll try starting at the beginning:
I am a member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade. It is a fantastic group of authors, readers, and SFR enthusiasts who help each other with writing questions, book promotion, and even book production. Late last year, sometime around November, a submission call was sent out for group members to send in short stories for an anthology. It was an experiment to get a free publication out for SFR awareness and promotion.
But it wasn't just any 'ol experiment. They weren't looking for random half-hearted stories. They wanted good, professional, works and put together a stellar team of editors to decide which stories were publication worthy.
Something about this submission call really spoke to me. I didn't have anything out at the time and the same self-doubt that kept me from writing before was trying to creep into my subconscious. They were asking for professional stories. They never straight up worded it that way, but I knew that's what they were looking for. I knew it had to be good. Was my work professional enough? Did I know the right formula for writing a SFR story? Was there a formula?
I already knew I could write, having gained that confidence through writing fan fiction. I just didn't know what it takes to write a publication worthy story. I'm still not entirely sure what it takes, but it's a learning process that I'm enjoying.
Writing a short story felt doable and I wanted to submit something so bad that I simply went for it. I spend a couple of weeks thinking about what I would write. Ideas are always bombarding my brain, but nothing was coming through that would be short enough. I started out with the thought that I could write a flash fiction, but quickly realized just how hard it is to write flash fiction. Seriously, sit down and try to write a story with only 1,000 words. Obviously, people can do it, but I think it might be more difficult than writing a full on novel.
I took numerous breaks, reading flash fiction to hopefully get the right frame of mind to write it. Unfortunately, I can't remember what I read since I was reading so much, but something about a couple being trapped in a cave sparked my imagination. I immediately stopped reading and started writing. I'm not even sure how that cave story ended because I haven't been able to find it again (I was perusing a lot of free sites on the web).
As Christmas holidays set in, I began to lose heart because it didn't look like I would make the beginning of January deadline. Then, the deadline date was moved to the end of January, so I continued the story with renewed vigor and was able to submit it on time.
Then came the inevitable waiting game I hear so many authors talking about. Thank goodness I didn't have to wait as long as most of those discussions imply. I received an email in March. Knowing what it would be about, I put off opening it for a day, too nervous about the shortcomings I knew my story had.
When I finally opened the email, I wasn't surprised that it was a rejection letter. I had researched and learned several things about points of view, voice, and showing versus telling after the story submission and I knew my story had all those issues.
However, with the rejection letter came a surprising second chance. It turned out that they really liked the story idea and gave me suggestions on how to bring it up to speed. If I was willing to revise it based on their suggestions, then I had another deadline. If I wasn't willing to revise, then they wished me luck in submitting the story elsewhere.
Now, I'm not proud and certainly not too proud to take direction. I'm an amateur and these folks were the professionals. Flattered that they liked the story idea and a more than willing student to improve my writing skills, I went through each suggestion with the enthusiasm of a preschooler with a new box of crayons. The best part about it was that I understood each and every issue they were addressing. All I needed was that little extra advice, because the story simply popped after that.
Of course, the second chance wasn't a guarantee that the story would be accepted, but that part no longer mattered to me. What mattered was that I was getting help from proven authors. What mattered was that I was improving my writing skills. What mattered was that I would be more prepared for the next time I submitted a story for publication.
They said to submit the revised story to Diane Dooley, which make me even more excited because I had read and liked her works. She was also the person that helped me get more involved in the group and, therefore, indirectly responsible for all the stuff I had learned about writing through the group discussions. The thing I love about being a part of the SFR Brigade is how accessible and helpful all the authors are.
It wasn't two days after I submitted the revised edition that Ms. Diane Dooley forwarded it on for acceptance, that it was exactly what they were looking for. I was so excited, I couldn't stand it!
Naively, I thought that would be it, that the story would be published in the summer and that my job was done. I had no idea about the editing process...Since that is where I admit I am such a noob that I had no idea who the famous SFR authors were either, that is another story.
For now, enjoy "Tales From the SFR Brigade" and my short story within, 'The Stranger,' as well as the fabulous short stories by Linnea Sinclair, Marcella Burnard, Erica Hayes, Liana Brooks, Pippa Jay, Berinn Rae, and Amy Laurens!
Smashwords: Tales From the SFR Brigade
Website: Tales from the SFR Brigade Anthology
Like the SFR Brigade Facebook Fanpage: Science-Fiction-Romance-Brigade-Fanpage
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Welcome to the second SFR Brigade blog hop! The theme this summer is 'Out of This World.' I love this theme because I love daydreaming about other worlds and the beings that inhabit them. I wonder what those beings could be like, what they're made of, whether or not they think and feel, what their culture would be like.
There are a lot of movies out there that have aliens from outer space coming to Earth and immediately killing us. Sometimes we know the reason, sometimes we don't, but I always come away from those movies feeling like something is lacking. They rarely tell us much about those aliens.
I want to know who the aliens are. I want to know what makes them do the things they do. My imagination has to fill those unknowns.
So, for my yet-to-be-published works, I write about aliens. Even more interesting to me, is that they have the capacity to love. Science fiction romance is a great fit!
My aliens have been torn apart by war. They are called the Gathons and the Skellyds. If war were black and white, the Gathons are the good guys and the Skellyds are the bad guys. Both are of the same species from the same planet, but have divided themselves into factions with those names. War, however, isn't so black and white and I love to explore what makes a being 'good' versus 'evil' and all the grey areas in between.
The Gathons and Skellyds are energy beings made of pure energy, called cores. In order to contain this energy core, they have to inhabit some sort of body. They cannot inhabit organic bodies, because the energy will burn up all organic components. So, they inhabit metallic bodies, full of wiring and electronic components to include computerized 'brains.'
They are able to survive as pure energy without inhabiting a metallic frame, but those that choose to do so can only communicate by joining with another energy being. This creates a permanent bond that some find undesirable. In fact, the Skellyds are against any type of bond and consider it a weakness to be destroyed. So, they take a humanoid shape in metallic bodies that are powered by their energy cores and their thoughts are saved in their CPUs. Those thoughts can be voiced through electronic vocal systems, such as speakers or vocal chords made of wiring.
These energy beings are capable of intense hatred, but also a deep love that can define them. Skellyds avoid the part of themselves that allows them to love. Gathons, however, embrace it.
By combining their energy cores, they form a permanent bond with a love on a level so deep that humans have a hard time grasping what it would be like. They become Love. Once that bond is formed, the couple communicates through the bond. Separation becomes painful and one bonded Gathon is usually never too far from the other. The bond strengthens them, but there is a catch that all Skellyds consider the biggest weakness of their kind of all: if one dies, the other dies soon after...
So many wonderful possibilities to explore with the Gathons and Skellyds. I can hardly wait to unleash them into the literary world!
If you're interested in SFR book releases, or science fiction romance in general, check out The Science Fiction Romance Brigade fanpage on Facebook.
Check out the posts of all the other participants. You can also find a list of their names on The SFR Brigade blog spot. They are out of this world!
1. Diane Dooley 15. Imogene Nix 29. Anna Hackett
2. Kimber Vale 16. Rinelle Grey 30. Tonya Cannariato
3. Maria Hammarblad 17. Veronica Scott 31. T.C. Archer
4. Bookswagger 18. Reading Reality 32. Sabrina Garie
5. C.E. Kilgore 19. Spacefreighters Lounge 33. Kyndra Hatch
6. Liana Brooks 20. Pippa Jay 34. S.A. Huchton
7. Cathy Pegau 21. Melisse Aires 35. T.K. Toppin
8. Misa Buckley 22. Pauline Baird Jones 36. Jo Jones
9. Yolanda Sfetsos 23. Sandra C. Stixrude 37. Liza O'Connor
10. Rachel Leigh Smith 24. Monica Enderle Pierce 38. Isabo Kelly
11. Greta van der Rol 25. The Galaxy Express 39. Nina Croft
12. Jessica E. Subject 26. Linda Mooney 40. Cathryn Cade
13. Diane Burton 27. Aubrie Dionne
14. E.A. Hoornaert 28. A.R. Norris
Now for the prizes!
1st Prize - $150 Amazon or B&N gift card (winner's choice) and an ebook bundle (currently Ghost in the Machine, Bayne, Recast Book 1:Wither, Recast Book 2:Clash, Alien Adoration, Switched, Reckless Rescue, Wreck of the Nebula Dream, Keir, Terms & Conditions Apply, The Key, Marya, The Iron Admiral, Sasha’s Calling, Trouble at the Hotel Baba Ghanoush, Winter in Paradise, Once Upon a Time in Space, the Telomere trilogy, Winter Fusion, Blue Nebula, Demential, Wytchfire, Maven, Fires of Justice, Interface, Girl under Glass, and Breakout. Bonus books – Ghost Planet, The Iron Admiral: Conspiracy and Deception, and Games of Command.)
2nd Prize - $50 Amazon or B&N gift card (winner's choice)
3rd Prizes - four $25 Amazon or B&N gift cards (given to separate
winners and their choice)
Enter to win (goes live at 00:01 Pacific Time on June 21st): a Rafflecopter giveaway. Good luck!
A comment is not mandatory for my post, but I'm interested in your thoughts if you'd like to share them. Have fun on the hop!